This is the time of year when the day to day costs of raising a family soar as parents with school age children find themselves paying for new school uniform, shoes, school bags and stationery, not to mention lunch bags, music lessons and instruments, sports equipment and even laptops. It can all be horrendously expensive and if your child goes to a private school, you will be adding at least £12000 per year in school fees for a senior school and your bill for school equipment and trips will be even higher.
No wonder the cost of raising one child is said to be £222,000 during the first 18 years of their life. If you intend to have your child educated privately, add another £180,000 to that figure. That’s an eye watering £402,000 per child!
Many new parents spend enormous amounts of cash on their new born baby, but this is the time in a child’s life when they need the least money spent on them. Breastfeeding is free and benefits a child massively in their development. Fabric nappies are cute, great for the planet and cost far, far less than disposables. Babies do not need expensive clothes which they will grow out of within weeks and they are far happier with brown paper and a box to play with than expensive toys.
What can you do to save money?
There are ways in which you can bring the cost of raising your children down through careful budgeting. Here are some great tips to try:
Share child care costs with friends wherever possible; not only will your children benefit from the close ties they will form with your friends’ children, it will also save you a lot of money.
Buy fresh fruit and vegetables and make your own meals rather than buying ready meals – it’s cheaper and you will all be healthier for it.
Buy second hand clothes and toys; you can easily find used items that are in excellent condition. Remind yourself that your children do not need all the latest games and gadgets. What they need is your time and love. They will grow up more balanced and happy and you will save money by not buying the latest gadget or designer toy for them.
Of course, there’ll be times when you’ll need to raise some extra cash if you find there is an item for the children which you really feel they ought to have. For a start, take a look at the toys and gadgets you have in your house that you do not use anymore. Selling some of these will allow you to free up some space and raise some money for other things.
These days the best way to sell stuff is by heading onto the internet. eBay is obviously a popular choice for selling things but it is not the only option. Gumtree, Netmums and many other websites allow you to sell second hand things, whilst if you want to sell something like an old iPhone or computer then you may be able to get some cash by using a recycling service without the hassle of having to deal with buyers.
So why not give it a go and start enjoying your life with your child free of money worries!